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Why You Should Consider Twitter Polls

When is the last time you’ve proudly been ahead of a trend? For me, it happened today!

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How to use Twitter Polls

If you aren’t aware, Twitter recently introduced the idea of a Twitter poll, which is basically a way for individuals and companies to collect the opinions of their followers anonymously (meaning, if you participate, your personal identifiable information (PII) remains anonymous).

I just want to reiterate that, for security reasons, all votes are private. You won’t see any PII but the poll data will continue to be public via Twitter until the poll is removed by you. Each poll can be live from 24 hours to 7 days and votes can only occur during that time. The only thing that will show are the percentages of each answer (I.e. 79% of voters like answer A and 21% like answer B). For example, if someone participates in a poll, you won’t see their Twitter name or anything associated with it. It’s completely anonymous.

The Twitter topics can vary from award nominations to potential pet names. In fact, I’ve been able to gain traction for my company as well as our clients – which means, it works for businesses, too!

Before I recommended this to my client, I decided to do a few test trials from my company’s Twitter account. Here’s a screenshot of one of our polls:

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Learn how to use Twitter Polls for your business.

Being that I also manage our social media strategy, I figured this would be a great opportunity to help set a content strategy. Needless to say, it not only helped me but it also helped others!

drum roll please

Our Twitter poll was featured on Twitter’s Business blog! Read the full article here.

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How to use Twitter polls for Business.

Have you participated in or created a Twitter poll? What best practices have you created?

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11 Ways to Optimize LinkedIn for Business

Did you know that LinkedIn currently has more than 4 million businesses on its platform? That’s right – 4 million! More and more businesses are quickly gravitating to this professional networking platform. Why? Well, for starters, more than 380 million professionals are on it. That’s a whole lot of potential partners, customers, and buyers to whom you can promote your business.

Are you excited? Great! Are you unsure of where to start? Don’t worry – that’s why I’m here. I recently attended a webinar presented by Dave Kerpen of Likeable Local and he discussed 11 Ways to Optimize LinkedIn for your Business.

Let’s jump in!

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How to Optimize Your LinkedIn For Business

 

1. Customize Your Profile. Personal branding boosts your business. You can do this many ways, but some include:

  • Making a custom URL
  • Hyperlinking to your company page
  • Adding a professional profile picture and background photo.

Additionally, make sure that you incorporate Search Engine Optimization (SEO) in your profile. This includes obtaining a list of keywords that prospects or clients would enter into LinkedIn or any other search engine. For example, my personal LinkedIn page mentions the keyword Marketing 14 times in the summary portion alone.  As a result, I was able to land my current position at Bixal!

Be sure to also include examples of your work – including presentations, art/graphics, videos, important links etc.

2. Publish Blog Posts. This is a great way to promote your brand. Start by thinking of a great headline before drafting the post. Some other tips include: finding/taking a compelling photo, closing a post with a strong call-to-action (this encourages comments), and sharing the post across all of your social channels.

Also, as you begin writing, keep word count in mind. A standard article has about 400-600 words. Be concise!

Lastly, drive your readers to a landing page on your website to learn more about you or your business. This strategy has worked really well for me. For example, this 600-word blog post on my personal site, once promoted on my social media accounts, earned me 15 new followers!

3. Share Updates: Personally and as a Business. 93% of Business-to-Business (B2B) marketers rate LinkedIn as a top B2B social media lead-generation source. It’s recommended that you update your status daily – at least once. Dave Kerpen of Likeable Local mentioned that the best times to post are weekdays between 7:00am-8:00am and 5:00 pm-6:00pm.

If you need ideas on what to post, consider photos, e-books, articles, videos, and any other content related to your industry and company.

4. Leverage LinkedIn Listening. Start by searching for keywords related to your company and read about what other people are saying.

5. Create LinkedIn Groups. Don’t just create one for your business. Create one that showcases your thought leadership. Make a group based on your expert area and post relevant content. Don’t forget to engage with members and link them to your company’s LinkedIn page and website.

6. Discover and Connect with Influencers. Follow the top influencers in your industry and listen to what they discuss. Engage with them by commenting on their posts and sharing their published content. When you feel comfortable, try messaging them and asking for a connection (make sure it’s an opportunity for both parties involved).

7. Recruit Amazing Talent. LinkedIn has made it easier for Recruiters, Small Business Owners and more to find amazing talent.  Search by your connections, location, industry and past companies. You can also utilize LinkedIn Premium to find new talent.

8. Advertise Strategically. LinkedIn ads are a great way to gain exposure. Know that you have the power to control associated costs. Be sure to target strategically with specific criteria: industry, job title, seniority, age, gender, location, skills, and group affiliation.

9. Create a Showcase Page. This serves as an extension of your company page. Use a Showcase Page to highlight certain products/services and share work examples.

10. Integrate Twitter and SlideShare. Increase your reach with integration. If you have presentations, you can share them directly to Linkedin from SlideShare. Also, you can add your Twitter profile to your LinkedIn in the edit profile section.

11. Connect Your Network. Plain and simple! Introduce people in your network to each other with the goal of building a community.

What are some other ways that you’ve optimized your LinkedIn profile? Comment below!

Advertising · Branding · Campaigns · Content Marketing · Digital · E-Commerce · Entrepreneurs · Marketing · Social Media · Strategy

Three Tips for Effectively A/B Testing your Emails

In a world where everything has become “social”, email has proven to continue to be a valuable asset in the world of online communications. In fact, according to the Radicati Group, the number of worldwide email accounts is projected to grow from over 4.1 billion accounts in 2014 to over 5.2 billion accounts by the end of 2018. That’s almost 27% in growth.

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With the huge opportunity to truly capture new subscribers, companies are spending more and more dollars on testing – specifically A/B testing.

Campaign Monitor defines A/B testing (also known as split testing) as:

 A way of working out which of two campaign options is the most effective in terms of encouraging opens or clicks.

In an A/B test, you set up two variations of the one campaign and send them to a small percentage of your total recipients. Half of the test group is sent Version A and the other half gets Version B. The result, measured by the most opens or clicks, determines the winning campaign and that version is sent to the remaining subscribers.

It’s imperative to run A/B tests when trying out new techniques or formats for your email campaigns. The result is the improvement of open, click through and conversion rates, which will funnel down to other marketing efforts and ultimately, if sales-related, profit for the company. Now that you understand the importance of testing, let’s break down exactly what you want to test – as everything cannot be tested together. It’s important to only test one thing at a time to get accurate results.

  1. Timing

The time that you decide to send an email is very important. Some believe the hours between 8:00 pm – 12:00 am are best. Others believe mid-day is best. Truthfully, ideal times will vary by your subscriber list, industry and/or the content/offer. Try a variety of times to determine which works best and go from there. Some email databases offer paid scheduling testing services, such as Mail Chimps’ Send Time Optimization, which handles the work for you by 1) requesting a sample list (dividing it in half – hence the phrase A/B testing) 2) determining the best sending time for its subscribers and 3) distributing based on the most favorable time.

  1. Call to Action and Subject Line

When it comes to testing your offer, there is no clear-cut plan. Different subscribers respond to different offers. The key is dynamic offers – i.e. targeted e-mail offers that are customized for each individual subscriber based on the information you’ve collected on them. A few examples include:

  • Seasonal Offers (e.g. Holidays, Back to School deals)
  • Free Option Offer (e.g. Shipping, BOGO, upgrades, downloads)

Percentages and specific dollar amounts (e.g. 5% off, $20 off)

  • Reminder/Time Sensitive Offers (e.g. Last chance to buy and/or earn, 5 slots left)
  • Exclusive/Membership Based offers (e.g. New items in store, restocked requests, private shopping events)
  1. The Layout

The layout of your email may seem like a trivial thing to consider but as the world becomes more mobile, it is imperative to ensure that click through rates and open rates remain high. A few popular things to test are:

  • Body text (Single column vs. double column; font size and type)
  • Images vs. Videos (and whether or not to integrate at all)
  • Personalization (Jane vs. Mrs. Doe)
  • HTML text (Keywords vs. brand language)
  • Placement of the offer (and the repetition of the offer)

Testing can be seen as a long, thorough process but when done right, and often, can yield positive results for your business.

What are some of your best practices for testing emails – specifically related to A/B testing? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

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Different Ways Brands Use Pinterest to Authentically Connect

Although it is still fairly new, plenty of companies have delved and completely excelled in the new social media channel of Pinterest. The online visual board has been predicted to grow measurably in the next few years. As such, brands all over the world are looking for ways to authentically connect with it’s current and potential consumers on the site.

As with any other social media channel, a well-thought out strategy is needed to excel. To assist you with this, I came across an article that details 5 ways a few brands have used Pinterest to authentically connect with fans.

Feel free to check it out here.

What tips and strategies have you implemented that have been successful on Pinterest?

Advertising · Branding · Campaigns · Content Marketing · Marketing · Public Relations · Publicity · Social Media · Strategy

Three Myths about What Customers Want

I recently came across an article that outlined the three myths of what customers want. I found it to be very interesting. In my opinion, it was truthful in a sense, but it definitely cannot apply to every brand out there.

A lot of brands, especially lifestyle brands, thrive on establishing and communicating with their community. As such, they do not call them customers. If anything, they are brand ambassadors (I love that term, in case you haven’t noticed yet).

Check out the article below. It is apart of a three part series, so I encourage you to check out the other articles as well!

What do you think? Is there any truth to the three myths the author cited?

Most marketers think that the best way to hold onto customers is through “engagement” — interacting as much as possible with them and building relationships. It turns out that that’s rarely true. In a study involving more than 7000 consumers, we found that companies often have dangerously wrong ideas about how best to engage with customers. Consider these three myths.

Myth #1: Most consumers want to have relationships with your brand.

Actually, they don’t. Only 23% of the consumers in our study said they have a relationship with a brand. In the typical consumer’s view of the world, relationships are reserved for friends, family and colleagues. That’s why, when you ask the 77% of consumers who don’t have relationships with brands to explain why, you get comments like “It’s just a brand, not a member of my family.” (What consumers really want when they interact with brands online is to get discounts).

How should you market differently? Read more here.

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Thrive with Content Marketing

Ever wonder how corporations like Proctor & Gamble and Disney managed to enter into the social scene and thrive? Well, they learned to embrace the art of content marketing.

A big part of my job involves content marketing. Perhaps, I should add that to my resume, I know it will receive major brownie points on my current employment search. I’ve always been a writer, and a creative soul…so in a sense, the task came…dare I say it…naturally.

However, I am aware that everyone is not a writer. Nor is everyone a creative person…and that’s where I come in!

By the end of this post, you will have a better idea of what content marketing is, as well as what it is NOT.

So, what is content marketing?

Wikipedia defines it as the creation and sharing of content – social media, blogs, white papers, case studies etc. –  in order to attract, acquire and engage clearly defined and understood current and potential consumer bases with the objective of driving profitable customer action.

Simply stated, content marketing is mastering the art of connecting and communicating with current and potential consumers without selling to them.  Instead of pitching your products or services, strive instead to deliver information that makes your buyer more intelligent. The essence of this content strategy is the belief that if businesses deliver consistent, ongoing valuable information to buyers, they ultimately reward them with their business and loyalty.

Of course, content marketing requires a great deal of research, strategy and planning on the companies’ end. One thing that has helped me in the process was the creation of a content calendar. Not only have they helped me to keep our brand voice consistent, but it also helps me to get our messages across in a timely, entertaining yet knowledgable fashion.

The goal should be to get your audience to like you. If they like you, they are more likely to share your content (hello, brand ambassadors!) as well as become buyers of your product or service.

To effectively engage in content marketing, be sure that you are:

1. Creating relevant, quality content

2. Using the right language

3. Connecting with your target audience (as they say, everything is not for everybody)

4. Engaging in the right content platforms (blogs, facebook, twitter etc.)

Consumers are shying away from traditional advertising & marketing. However, you can still engage with your buyers by mastering the art of content marketing.

Below is an infographic that attests to the continued growth of content marketing.

What strategies do you incorporate into your content marketing strategy?